A quick update on the Light Rail rebuild

Discussion related to DC area passenger rail services from Northern Virginia to Baltimore, MD. Includes Light Rail and Baltimore Subway.

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A quick update on the Light Rail rebuild

Postby STrRedWolf » Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:10 pm

I had jury duty today... or maybe not. Events got me released early, and I was able to talk to some of the remaining MTA Light Rail crew at Cromwell (namely because dad's retired MTA Light Rail). Because of how light the staff is there now, MTA has put Alstom's on-site techs there to debug the rebuilt Light Rail vehicles. From what dad and I gathered:

  • New LR vehicles are not compatible with the pre-rebuild vehicles. You can't even couple them together.
  • Inside: Resin-based floor, instead of plas-steel.
  • Inside: Operator panels have changed considerably.
  • Inside: Electronics and computer systems on board are all new and incompatible.
  • Outside: All destination signs are LEDs and have a different font.
  • Outside: Any headlights or illumination are all LEDs now.
  • Outside: The doors no longer use air pressure, and are now electric driven.

In other words, a much needed improvement.
I ride the (MTA Maryland) Penn Line (between Odenton and Baltimore). I used to work for MTA Maryland's IT department, and out of professional courtesy my responses may be limited. Wikimapia is wonderful (for track/interlocking locations)!
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Re: A quick update on the Light Rail rebuild

Postby tommyboy6181 » Fri Apr 14, 2017 8:09 pm

I was wondering how that project was going. I'd love to see any pictures or videos of the rebuilt LRV's but haven't been able to find anything as of yet.
Gotta love Alstom. Every year on opening day of hunting season, it is a paid holiday! :wink:
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Re: A quick update on the Light Rail rebuild

Postby STrRedWolf » Sat Apr 15, 2017 9:38 pm

tommyboy6181 wrote:I was wondering how that project was going. I'd love to see any pictures or videos of the rebuilt LRV's but haven't been able to find anything as of yet.


I refrained from taking a photo but they were running the rebuilt train out on the tracks to test it out. As I said, they're debugging one car first.
I ride the (MTA Maryland) Penn Line (between Odenton and Baltimore). I used to work for MTA Maryland's IT department, and out of professional courtesy my responses may be limited. Wikimapia is wonderful (for track/interlocking locations)!
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Re: A quick update on the Light Rail rebuild

Postby Tadman » Sun Apr 16, 2017 7:23 pm

Its not uncommon for new fleets not to be compatible with old fleets of electric MU cars. Such is the case with the new CTA 5000 cars, South Shore 300 cars, Metro North M8 and M7 cars, and SEPTA SL5 cars. None can link with predecessors for anything more than an emergency tow with no power.
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Re: A quick update on the Light Rail rebuild

Postby ExCon90 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 2:36 pm

There isn't much choice--if new equipment has to be compatible with what's there already, any progress will be limited.
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Re: A quick update on the Light Rail rebuild

Postby STrRedWolf » Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:52 pm

To be honest, being compatible with an old, obsolete system from a dead company is just... too much. Reverse engineering everything would highlight known flaws in the entire system.

Nah, just scrap the old system and rebuild it.
I ride the (MTA Maryland) Penn Line (between Odenton and Baltimore). I used to work for MTA Maryland's IT department, and out of professional courtesy my responses may be limited. Wikimapia is wonderful (for track/interlocking locations)!
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